We are God’s fellow workers.


 

The readings of today are both filled with a glimpse of real humanity both in the life of Jesus and in the early Church.  In the first reading, Paul addresses the Corinthians as “infants in Christ.” He points out their human jealousy and lack of growth into a “spiritual people.” The Corinthians were saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” instead of “I belong to Jesus Christ”! Are we much different? Are we still “babies” in Christ? Do we say, “I belong to Father So-and-So” or “I belong to Pastor so and so? Yes, this something very common here in Uganda!  Instead, of saying, “I belong to Jesus Christ!, we can always hear people say, “I belong to the Church of Pastor so and so!”

No matter how much we want to envision the warmth and love of the earliest Christians for one another, they were as human as the rest of us. Paul admonishes the Corinthians noting: “there is jealousy and rivalry among you.” They had already split into factions according to who had baptized them, Paul or Apollos. A frustrated Paul tries to set them straight: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.” Do I need to talk about this! All of us can witness that the news are full of wars between Christians from the many different factions.

As Paul pointed out to the Corinthians, he planted, Appolos watered, but it was God who caused the growth. One priest or pastor may “plant” us through baptism, another may “water” our souls through the sacraments, but it is Jesus who is the source of our spiritual growth. Only in Him will we grow into spiritually mature Christians who “belong to Christ.”

 

What we believe matters. What we believe determines how we behave. Just look at the current events now transpiring in our nations around the world. The message of the book of Corinthians centers on having a right view of Christ and on how to live the Christian life. To know Christ is to experience the powerful and radical life-changing grace of Almighty God. As Christians, our challenge is to know Christ more, well aware that we can never know enough about Christ. We need to focus on Him.

We not only stand by faith, we also now walk in love. We are to live a life characterized by love. Love is vital for every true believer. Loving one another is evidence of a right relationship with God. Jesus told us that people would know that we are His disciples by how we love one another. Following God and walking in love are synonymous. We can’t have one without the other. The truth of the Gospel transforms our attitudes and our actions. It’s easy to love the lovable. But it takes God’s power to love the unlovable. God has given us the power to love, even those who are difficult to love. Our love ought to be great, because it is powered by God. The grace of God in our hearts is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. The special use of this strength is for times when we are suffering. We ought to deem it special to be invited to live with Christ, knowing that all our trials will soon end and that our faith, having emerged from the great tribulations, will be all the stronger and love-filled.

We often talk about doing God’s work’ but do we think about working alongside God? Do we remember that God continues to work in our world each day? God does not watch us from a distance and take no interest. God is our father and loves us. No loving father leaves his children completely alone. He gives us the gift of life, and although he does not intervene in our problems he is there nevertheless. He speaks to His children’s hearts and inspires them to become His workers. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. He instructs us in everything and reminds us of all that Jesus taught us. “The Spirit scrutinizes all matters, even the deep things of God”. “No one knows what lies at the depths of God but the Spirit of God”. Moreover, the Spirit helps “us to recognize the gifts He has given us”. He even teaches us the words in which to speak of these gifts, “thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms”. This results in our coming to have the heart of the Father, the mind of Christ, and the words of the Spirit. In summary, the Spirit teaches us God’s depths, our gifts, and even our spiritual vocabulary. Two thousand years after Jesus’ birth, we strive to give a shape and form to God’s love in our world and to see this love in those around us.

Lord, thank You for all the “sowers” and “waterers” in my life. Most of all, thank You for being the “sun” that gives me true spiritual growth. Grant that I may grow into a mature follower of You, and bear You good fruit!

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